Video: Distilling Brooklyn

If you missed the panel I led in May about Brooklyn distillers, it’s now online! See below! We explore the rich past of distilling in Brooklyn, as well as how New York paved the way for craft distillers in the present day. The NY Distilling Co., Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn Gin, and Van Brunt Stillhouse tell their personal stories of how they came to the craft, and talk about the challenges of craft distilling.

Distilling Brooklyn from Brooklyn Historical Society on Vimeo.

Video: Cooking from the Moosewood Cookbook with Jeffrey Marsh

I made a silly little cooking video with my friend and inspiration Jeffrey Marsh. Jeffrey is a Vine superstar and cultural phenomenon, and you should check him out.

We cooked Miso Soup from the classic Moosewood Cookbook, a revolutionary vegetarian cookbook from 1977. My favorite part about this book is the recipes are very loosey goosey–everything is to taste. Add a little of this, a little of that–whatever! That style is still so different from the rigid recipes we’re used to, and still sets this cookbook apart.

So watch the vid to see Jeffrey and I goofing off, talking about food history, and attempting this soup from the seventies.

Video: Cooking on Live TV and Not Embarrassing Myself!

I recently appeared on the new network Arise, on the New York based show Arise and Shine with Rain Pryor and Priya Sridhar. We chatted about my blog, my methodology, and my upcoming book; then I demonstrated Reuben’s Apple Pancake! Apples are covered in pancake batter, the fried in butter in sugar to give it a crispy and gooey caramelized crust. I impressively flipped it, and made a little mess but not a big one, and it turned out beautiful and delicious.

And you can watch it all above, and get the recipe here.

Video: Bourbon Now Made in Brooklyn

I was quoted as an expert in this recent CNN story about the revival of distilleries in Brooklyn.  Looser liquor laws are catching on nationwide, so be one the lookout for a craft distiller opening near you.

I’ve got a teensy segment in this video–don’t blink or you’ll miss me–but featured far more prominently is my buddy Colin down at King’s Country Distillery, making fine whiskeys in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.


Make Love and Get Arrested

Charles Bergengren accepts the Viktor Shreckengost Teaching Award at CIA’s 2012 Commencement. Skip to 2:20 for the start of Charlie’s speech.

That’s the advice professor Charles Bergengren gave students on commencement day 2012 at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

That’s my alma mater, and Charlie is my old professor.  He passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly just two months after giving this speech. In the void of his absence, I realized just how much he has influenced me as an artist.  As an expert in folklore and vernacular art, he’s the one that made me think of food as art for the first time.  I did my first piece of culinary historical writing for him.  He advised my thesis work and inspired me to walk 500 miles across Spain after I graduated.

I miss him.

Watch this video (skip to minute 2:20 for the start of Charlie’s speech).  In five minutes, he’ll make you a better researcher.  And he may even inspire you to do something radical.


Video: Inside the Kitchens of Little Germany

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A century ago, the Lower East Side of Manhattan was known as Kleindeutschland, or Little Germany.  New York was so populated by German immigrants that is was the third largest German-speaking city on the planet.

The Lower East Tenement Museum’s newest tour, Shop Life, looks at commercial spaces that were once in the historic structure, 97 Orchard street.  The new exhibit will feature a fully restored, German beer hall, run by two of 97 Orchard’s residents, John and Caroline Schneider.

On April 3rd, visitors got a behind the scenes look at the upcoming restoration, which opens in fall of 2012.  I gave a talk with Dr. Annie Polland, Director of Education for the museum, about the ins and outs of tavern life in 1860’s New York.  We spoke from the perspective of Caroline, tenement housewife, mother, and business partner to her husband: as the saloon owner’s wife, what was her day like?  And how did she accomplish the monumental task of preparing food for her family, and the saloon’s patrons, in her tenement kitchen?

For more on German food and life in 1860s New York, watch the video above, a live recording of the talk.  It begins with Dr. Polland and you’ll see me presenting foodways in the second half.  My section starts at 28 minutes in, and turn up you audio because it’s quite low in the recording.

Video: Longing for a Simpler Time

Although I am history enthusiast, I have never once longed to live in a time other than my own.  In fact, I’ve never quite understood those who want to go back to the “simpler time” of the Victorian era.  Before germ theory?? Before Antibiotics?? I don’t quite get it.

Luckily, The Daily Show agrees with me, and produced this hysterical segment which beautifully illustrates my point.  It features Great Depression Cooking star Clara Cannucciari recounting her tough times in the 1930s (try the Poor Man’s Meal! It’s delicious!).

I think we need to appreciate the time that we live in, while keeping the past in our hearts and minds.


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The Historic Gastronomist: Giving Recipes an Afterlife

Liza di Guia, a local food journalist, recently shot a short documentary about my work–and here it is! This is my first experience with being on camera, so I am simultaneously horrified and delighted.

And if you like what you see here, come see more in person at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn! On Sunday, November 22nd, from 12-3, I’m going to be cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner over the hearth. Stop by to tour the museum, chat, and get some free tastes of what’s cooking. More information soon…in the meantime, please enjoy the video!

The Historic Gastronomist: Giving Recipes an Afterlife from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.

Welcome to food. curated.

Meet Sarah Lohman. She’s not a professional cook, nor a historian, yet what she is passionate about involves both cooking and history.

Sarah is a rare breed of hobbyist. A “historic gastronomist”. She rediscovers and recreates American recipes that went out of style hundreds of years ago. For her, it is the closest thing to time travel…reawakening her senses and opening doors to old flavors and ideas that had once been pop culture.

And it’s a hobby not without purpose. She uses these discoveries to introduce new ingredients and techniques into her cooking today. A trend, she says, that is catching on with chefs all over New York City.

food. curated. spent an afternoon with Sarah in her “kitchen lab” and at Brooklyn’s Old Stonehouse to see what a typical day of recipe testing is like…

Read more about Sarah and her projects in her blog

Thanks for watching

Shot & Edited by Storyteller: Liza de Guia

Follow my food obsessions on Twitter: SkeeterNYC

In The News: Bacon Beer Hits the Nation

The New York Times ran this infatuating article on different bacon brews across the country.

The Times also had a rather inspiring article about vacationing in my hometown of Cleveland. Two items of interest in the article are the Velvet Tango Room, a Tremont bar housed in an old speakasy that features home-made bitters and a bevy of classic cocktails; and L’Abatros, the new French restaurant housed in a 19thc carriage house on the Case Western Reserve University campus.
Edible Manhattan reminds us that the Bloody Mary is turning 75 on October 5th; head over to it’s origin point at the St. Regis hotel to get one.
I did a video with The Feedbag at the annual, South American-style pig roast at Il Buco. The prized pigs in the spotlight? An 150 lb Ossabaw and 250 lb Crossabaw (ossabaw crossed with a modern breed). Watch the video to learn more about these breeds, and to see some serious pig fat action.